Amrutha Kishor, a native of Kottayam in Kerala, has been nominated for the prestigious Royal Institute of British Architects President's Award 2019. She is the first Indian to be shortlisted for the international award in the Design and Technical category.
The President's Award celebrates the best research in the fields of architecture and the built environment and has attracted interest from around the globe, with entries from China to Peru. This year's entries illustrated a strong focus on people and community over buildings, featuring parallel themes such as social injustice and climate change.
It was Amrutha's work during her time with Allan Joyce Architects in the UK that was nominated for the RIBA President's Award. In her energy research project, she analysed the discrepancy between predictions by architects on energy consumption and the real quantities of energy in newly-built buildings when they are in operation - a difference Amrutha calls 'Energy Performance Gaps'.
Seven houses designed by the architecture practice in the UK from 1998 until 2019 were considered for this study. The data from the residents' energy bills were cross-referenced with the predictions made with the help of software and from energy reports. 'It was observed that the predictions did not match actual energy usage. Amrutha's study adds insight into the factors which affect this. It concludes with the points architects should look out for to ensure maximum energy-efficiency for their designs.
With the rising global warming and depletion of resources compelling every industry to move toward sustainability and energy efficiency, her work 'Energy Performance Gaps in Residences in UK' takes heightened precedence today.
Amrutha completed her B.Arch from National Institute of Technology in Kozhikode and her post-graduation (M.Arch in Design) from the University of Nottingham.
"I am happy to get nominated for the award. Competition is tough, but I am hoping for the best," Amrutha said.
Amrutha, who is now based in Kottayam, runs her own firm Elemental Architects which deals with climate responsive architectural design to suit the climate of a specific location.
Explaining the energy aspect in architecture, Amrutha said, "It deals with relationship between the usage of electricity and architectural design. The consumption of power varies vis-a-vis the changes in building design. For a single residential building it may not be of a huge measure, but when it comes to building complexes in IT parks or apartment complexes the scale of differences in energy consumption with regard to architectural designs are very high."
Amrutha's parents, Kishor Mathew Pattassery and Betty Cheripurath Paulose, who are both engineers, are based in Dubai.
The winning papers and medallist will be announced at this year's President's Medals ceremony at the RIBA, in London, on December 3, 2019.